Is escalator etiquette finally catching on among Filipinos?

August 9, 2018 - 2:42 PM
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Filipinos are just catching up on the escalator etiquette that tells commuters to stand on the left side. (Artwork by Uela Altar-Badayos)

The practice of standing on the right side of the escalator to allow those in a hurry to walk on the left side has been around for years and Filipinos could finally be catching on.

This escalator etiquette was seen among Filipinos on an escalator in a mall in Quezon City, a photo of which was shared by Facebook user Jean Eun Jung.

We’re learning! Pilipinas, I’m so proud of you! ❤️?? #escalatoretiquettePs. One way na hagdan po yung nasa left side #havefaith guys ?

Posted by Jean Eun Jung on Wednesday, August 1, 2018

SM Supermalls had put up signs on escalator etiquette two years ago but it did not immediately catch on.

This was shown in a viral reddit photo in 2017, wherein people still stood on both sides of the escalator even with a sign placed at the side that says “walk on the left, stand on the right.”

Escalator etiquette in PH. from Philippines

Reddit user RealSophie1986 pointed out that such practice was mostly for hurrying passengers in train stations.

“If you’ve been to other countries, the main reason why ini-implement nila ito sa escalators is because nagmamadali ang mga tao. I agree din na walang nag mamadali sa mall. Normally, ini-implement to sa train stations and hindi sa mall,” the Reddit user commented.

Meanwhile, some observed that those who are not following this rule are those with a companion.

Keep the other side open

The escalator etiquette varies in different parts of the world.

In Japan, people in the city of Tokyo follow the familiar etiquette of standing on the right side, but those in Osaka do the opposite.

Commuters in neighboring countries China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea also have the same right-side standing protocol, those in Singapore walk on the left side of the escalator.

People in the US, parts of the United Kingdom, Canada, France and New Zealand also stand on the right and walk on the left side of their escalators.

Walking on escalators, particularly those in subway systems, is discouraged in some of the world’s busiest cities, such as in New York, Toronto and Tokyo.

Safety experts advised that standing while on an escalator will help prevent accidents, based on a BBC article.

This was previously highlighted in a popular public information video in the 1970s wherein a pair of children’s boots got sucked into an escalator.

“Most escalator walking happens at underground stations – people don’t tend to be in such a hurry in a shopping center, for instance,” Tom Geoghegan wrote.

In a 2016 study, researchers have found that this was applicable during busy hours.

It was conducted by the Transport for London at the Holborn station in the London subway system or the Tube.

“So there you have it – when the Tube is super busy, such as during the morning rush hour, it is indeed better if you stand rather than walk up the escalators,” the researchers concluded. — Artwork by Uela Altar-Badayos